Tech buzz: iPad 3, Google Privacy, Joyn, Pinterest and Facebook timelines

What’s hot in the world of technology this week? We look at the latest buzzwords, trends and stories...

iPad 3

The wait is almost over for Apple’s legions of fleet-fingered fans. After months of speculation, the company finally announced the launch of the next iteration of its wildly popular tablet. Well, not quite. What the tight-lipped US behemoth did reveal was an invitation it sent to journalists, to an event next Wednesday (March 7), hinting that “we have something you really have to see, and touch”. The accompanying image appeared to show part of an iPad screen, as if that saucy statement wasn’t clear enough. However, if it’s anything short of a full product launch, there will be millions of disappointed tech fans the world over.

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Google Privacy

Google’s recent changes to its privacy law have come under fire, and now the EU has decreed that they are in breach of European Law. Last Thursday the search giant implemented the new policy, which sees personal information shared between its various web platforms, such as YouTube, Gmail, Blogger and so on. Before the new terms and conditions came into play, if you searched for a clip on YouTube, this would not affect the tailored adverts you would see on Gmail, for example. One way of reducing the amount of data Google holds about you is to log out of the service, and you can see an overview of your Google ‘footprint’ by logging into your dashboard.

Joyn

‘Joyn’ is a suite of new mobile features such as instant messaging and video calls which operators hope will see them recoup some of the market share snapped up by Apple and Google’s app stores. The GSM Association including AT&T and Orange announced the new messaging system at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday. The features are mooted to be numerous and useful: enhanced messaging and voice, geolocation, cloud storage and the opportunity to share documents and photos during calls. Expect more clarity later this year.

Pinterest

The latest upstart on the social media scene is virtual pinboard website Pinterest. Users ‘pin’ pictures they’ve taken or images from around the web, ranging from fashion choices to archive snaps, which can then be ‘re-pinned’, making it possible for some pins to go viral throughout the network. While it’s too early to say if Pinterest will really muscle in on Facebook and Twitter’s territory, it has seen its traffic grow sharply in recent months, and in January it attracted over 13m visitors, who each spent an average of 89 minutes on the site. Interestingly, its userbase is overwhelmingly female.

Facebook timelines

Just as its 800m users are getting to grips with the new timeline profile view, which is about to become compulsory, Facebook has started rolling out the feature to brand pages. The new look allows users to curate the story of their life, all the way back to their own year dot. For companies like Ford and Coca-Cola, this has seen them flesh out their company history on the social networking site with archive material dating back over 100 years. Other brands to have made the leap include Manchester United, Burberry, Starbucks, and our very own Scotmsan page.

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